Berlin trip, part 1 (or the one in which I set out to write about one thing but immediately digress and write about something else instead. Sort of.)

Edinburgh very much trades on its reputation as a city of high culture and elegant restraint, but that isn’t to suggest that it doesn’t have a vibrant “street” scene as well. Oh no, we too have our colourful urban rituals in which local youngsters take part with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, when we went put our suitcase in the car on Thursday morning we discovered that, no doubt in their eagerness, the little scamps had got carried away and SMASHED THE WINDSCREEN! So there we were, moving rapidly from gaping to swearing to panicking. What if we missed our flight? We were, after all, flying with EasyJet, the airline which only refunds your money if you, or a close family member, actually dies. Public transport was going to be too slow so, as a last resort, we phoned a taxi firm and, after agreeing an eye-watering £126 fare, we were back in business. Thinking that our troubles were, for the meantime , over, we set off, tut-tutting with the taxi driver about today’s youth and their multiple defects. On reaching the outskirts of Glasgow, however, it became apparent that those vital minutes we had spent swearing and calling taxis meant that traffic entering the city was now at a standstill. We could do nothing except watch as the minutes ticked by until 8.30, when the boarding for our flight closed. Disaster!

Scene: airport check-in lounge. Interior. Day.

(John Nettles voiceover)

“It’s 8.40 and check-in for the Glasgow/Berlin flight closed ten minutes ago. However, Mr and Mrs Klein are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary and they’re determined to get on that plane”

Mr and Mrs Klein approach the check-out desk. They are agitated and out of breath.

Mr K. “I know check-in has closed but our car was vandalised and we had to take a cab. Is there any chance we could still get on the flight?”

Check-in girl “Sorry, youse’ll jist hiv tae get the nixt flight”

Mr K. “But you don’t understand! I’ve already had to fork out £126 for a cab! If we miss these flights and I have to pay for new ones, there’ll be no money left to treat my wife when we get to Berlin! You don’t know what she’s like, she’ll go mad! Please, you’ve got to help me!

Check-in girl: ” Ah’m going tae hiv ask you tae calm down, sir. If you don’t, ah’ll hiv tae call security!

Mr K. “Now look here! Either you get us on that flight or I’ll…I’ll set fire to myself!

CIG. “That’s it! Ah’m calling security! Security! Se-cure-ah-tay!!!

(Check-in is suddenly and dramatically bathed in golden light. A choir of angels can be heard singing. Finally, someone speaks)

John Smeaton (for it is he). “Did someone call fur security?”

CIG. “John! Thank Goad, yure here! This nutter says he’s gaun tae set himsel’ oan fire”

JS. “Oan fire, is it? Noo, listen you here tae me, pal, THIS IS GLESGA! WE’LL SET ABOOT YE!

A short scuffle ensues and the Kleins are led away in handcuffs.

(John Nettles voiceover)

“With the flight safely dispatched and Mr and Mrs Klein in a secure institution, check-in attendant Cheryl can pause for reflection”

Cheryl. “Och it’s a great job, really. Sure, ye get the odd bampot like that Klein guy, but maistly it’s dead good. And ah pure love the uniform. It matches mah foundation. Aye, orange has always been wahn of mah favourite colours.

(John Nettles voiceover)

“Join us next week when, following the failure of the runway lights, Cheryl and her permatanned colleagues lie on the flight path to guide the aircraft down…Honestly, who WATCHES this crap. I mean “Bergerac” wasn’t Shakespeare, but at least it had a ring of truth about it…”

Actually, and much less dramatically, although the check-in had closed we were just waved through so, credit where credit’s due, thank you, EasyJet.

 We were lucky enough to spend  sometime in the company of this lovely blogger, who was kindness itself, showing us all of Berlin’s sights over the course of a very entertaining afternoon and two evenings. Thank you, thank you, thank you, BiB!

Photos and a proper post, singing the praises of Berlin, to follow.

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8 Responses to Berlin trip, part 1 (or the one in which I set out to write about one thing but immediately digress and write about something else instead. Sort of.)

  1. BiB says:

    The pleasure was all mine! And it really is a pleasure, especially when you get to give some insider tips and take folk off the beaten track a bit. So glad you enjoyed it here.

  2. marshaklein says:

    We both loved it! Only downside is, now I’m back, I’ve been afflicted with an overwhelming feeling of melancholy. Can you miss somewhere you’ve just visited for the first time? I’m also regretting not having a cigarette with you (yes, yes, I KNOW I don’t smoke, but I really wanted to!) Is this how Berlin gets under your skin? Or have I come back as someone else?

  3. Mangonel says:

    May I ask, how much did you have to pay Mr Nettles for his work? I’ve often thought of getting a voiceover myself, and I love the work he did for you.

    Berlin is a strange and wonderful city, nicht wahr? Heady, I think I’d say. Did you ever see Downfall?

  4. pleite says:

    Well, I’m glad you didn’t smoke. Although I smoked enough for both you and Brian to have passively smoked a few, no doubt. And I think it’s absolutely normal to miss a place you’ve only been to once, if it’s grabbed your imagination.

    Mango, I wanted to show the Kleins where Hitler’s bunker was but I still don’t know precisely, so had to content myself with a cursory whoosh of the arm and an over-there-somewhere.

  5. marshaklein says:

    Mango, Mr Nettles does have a rather lovely voice, doesn’t he?

    Berlin was a revelation – I suppose the few pre-conceptions I had were all predicated on the West being the “good” bit and the East the not-so-good bit. How wrong I was, not just about the East/West thing, but about how good the “good” bits were.

    I haven’t ever seen “Downfall”, but I might have to now.

  6. marshaklein says:

    BiB, I can’t work out what the smoking thing is about, but it was on the tip of my tongue, more than once, to ask you for a ciggy. I think the fear of choking to death in front of you was probably what stopped me!

    In fairness to you, you did show us about a million other things, so we weren’t really deprived.

  7. annie says:

    BiB is lovely, and a good reason to move to Berlin if ever there was one… I love Berlin too – let’s all move there together!

  8. marshaklein says:

    Annie, you’ll get no argument from me on either count! I’d move to Berlin tomorrow!

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